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Springtime came early to Paris on Tuesday, thanks to Katsuya Kamo, the hairstylist who created the fantastic flowers blooming on headdresses at Chanel’s couture show.
This story first appeared in the January 28, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Who knew photocopy paper from Office Depot could be morphed into such magnificent creations?
“It’s easy,” said the 40-year-old Kamo, whose hands are rarely still. He pantomimed how he crumpled, pulled and ran his fingers over pieces of paper to get various textures, and added that only two packets of 11 x 17 sheets were used.
He and his team of six or seven hairstylists worked part-time for up to three weeks making the flowers, which were sent from his native Tokyo in boxes. More flowers were then concocted in Paris for Tuesday’s show, which featured 65 different headdresses.
“I really like this kind of hairdressing,” he said, explaining that he’s used various materials in coifs before. He has added dried flowers to models’ hair and has also dotted heads with mirrors.
Hardly a newcomer to fashion, Kamo has created hair looks for designers such as Junya Watanabe, Fendi, Undercover and Tao Comme des Garçons. He explained that his hairstyling differs from others’ since he hardly uses any product, using his hands instead to create effects.
When Karl Lagerfeld said he wanted to use paper for Chanel’s couture show, Kamo crafted flowers, butterflies and birds. But his skill doesn’t end there. He has already tried millinery. A few years ago, he did a small collection of hats that were sold during the Christmas season in Tokyo’s branch of Corso Como. And, without a moment’s hesitation, he said he would make more “if the chance arose.”
Yet his ultimate dream is to design clothes. He already does some of his own, pointing to a vintage Japanese woman’s wool coat that he tailored for himself, and the vintage French trousers he was wearing that he had tweaked.
When he’s not creating fantasy hair styles or customizing his wardrobe, Kamo collects dried flowers and bugs that hang in boxes from the walls of his home. “If people give me flowers, I always dry them and put them in a box,” he explained. Needless to say, he makes the box himself.